Michigan State Police have acknowledged that its blood tests for marijuana are producing false positives for THC, and it will immediately halt testing.
The Michigan State Police Crime lab notified county prosecutors about the faulty testing on Thursday.
The toxicology tests failed to distinguish between THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical compound that does not produce a high.
“The MSP Forensic Science Division is examining a discrepancy discovered earlier this week in THC blood testing results in which the presence of CBD in a blood sample may have led to a positive result for THC,” MSP spokesperson Shanon Banner said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution (MSP) today notified the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan that we are immediately halting the processing of all THC blood samples as we work to learn more and/or until we can institute another validated method of testing to ensure accuracy.”
The discovery raises serious questions about past arrests and could undo convictions that were based on faulty testing.
While recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, driving while high is still a crime.
In an email to prosecutors, Cheri L. Bruinsma, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council in Michigan, said the testing results should not be used for prosecutions.
“They are working to understand the issue and scope of the problem,” Bruinsma said of state police. “They expect to have additional information in the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you have a case that relies on a THC toxicology screening, you should not rely on that result.”
It was not immediately clear how long the tests have been faulty or how many people have been impacted.
Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: [email protected]. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.
- Minnesota’s Black cannabis users far more likely to face arrest than white onesBlack Minnesotans are nearly five times as likely to be arrested on marijuana charges as white ones, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It’s a disparity that has persisted for years, despite data showing that Black and white residents use cannabis at similar rates.
- Lawmakers ask MO governor to add cannabis legalization in special sessionA bipartisan group of lawmakers and activists are calling for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to include marijuana legalization on the agenda of the legislature’s upcoming special session.
- In Brief: Pa. Governor Accepting Cannabis Pardon Requests in Sept.Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announce the PA Marijuana Pardon Program, offering expedited pardon reviews to people convicted of only minor cannabis possession for personal use.
- Michigan State Police stops cannabis testing after false positivesMichigan State Police have acknowledged that its blood tests for marijuana are producing false positives for THC, and it will immediately halt testing.
- Missouri Dems expect boost from cannabis, but split on specificsSupport for legalization and heartburn about the amendment’s details have led to soul-searching among Democratic Party officials across the state. The consternation is particularly acute among Black Democratic leaders.
- Signatures on Nebraska medical cannabis petitions to get another lookThe Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office has agreed to take another look at signatures submitted by a group seeking legalization of medical marijuana to determine if they should have been counted.
- Nebraska senator pledges to seek special session to legalize medical cannabisAdvocates for legalization of medical marijuana were pursuing a trio of options Tuesday after their attempt at qualifying the issue for the November ballot fell short.
- Adult-use cannabis unlikely to be on Oklahoma ballot in NovemberThe Yes on 820 campaign faces several obstacles in the last part of its journey to the ballot as another challenge period will last at least 10 business days and the state Election Board needs time to print ballots for overseas voters.
- Lawsuit asks to block cannabis legalization from Missouri ballotAn anti-drug legalization activist has filed a lawsuit arguing a recreational marijuana initiative petition was improperly certified by Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and should not appear on the November ballot.
- Cannabis legalization advocates turn THC customers into political alliesNow that Minnesota has legalized hemp-derived THC products as of July 1, proponents of full legalization are activating a new resource in the political battle over the green plant’s future: customers.